Thomas Munson

Invasive species taking root in Greater Victoria

Knotweed described as “one of the world’s worst invasive species.”

The Capital Regional District is facing an invasion of knotweed, a bamboo-like plant described by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as “one of the world’s worst invasive species.”

The Coastal Invasive Species Committee (CISC) has been working with local municipalities in an attempt to prevent the introduction of knotweed to the CRD. CISC  treated 120 sites of infestation last year, as well as 67 in 2012.

Executive director Rachelle McElroy cited an increased awareness of the plant as the reason for treatment almost doubling.

“Knotweed is quite widespread in the region, but not to the point where we can’t get ahead of it,” McElroy said. “More people are reporting it as they become more aware of what it looks like and the kind of damage it can do, and more people are learning that we offer free treatment.”

Knotweed is capable of growing four centimetres a day, though McElroy referred to the portion of the plan above surface as “the tip of the iceberg.” Knotweed spreads by the roots, and if left untreated, they can spread 20 metres wide and three metres deep underground.

Knotweed has been known to grow through concrete and home foundations. In the U.K., the plant has become a huge issue for property owners, even disqualifying some from taking out mortgages.

Knotweed can be identified by its hollow, bamboo-like stems, large green leaves, small white flowers and red colouring along the stems. Residents are asked not to cut, mow or compost knotweed, as this can lead to further spreading.

CISC treats knotweed by injecting a herbicide directly into the roots, effectively halting growth. McElroy noted the lack of a registered aquatic herbicide in Canada as an obstacle for prevention. This has lead to a higher rate of growth along streams, where knotweed competes with other plants, resulting in soil erosion and lower oxygen levels, harming salmon populations.

More information on knotweed can be found online at knotonmyproperty.com. If knotweed is found on your property, the CISC can be contacted at 250-857-2472 or by email at info@coastalisc.com.

Just Posted

Cycslists were all smiles during ninth Tour de Victoria

More than 2,100 cyclists participated

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after Const. Beckett’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Police investigating incident in Saanich neighbourhood

Neighbours tell Black Press Media that a body has been found, but police remain tight-lipped.

Colwood man takes on Ride to Conquer Cancer for 11th year in a row

Team Finn has raised almost $3 million for BC Cancer Foundation

Langford lizard sighting excites Victoria museum curator

Curator of vertebrate zoology/knowledge explains the spread of the Wall lizard in the region

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read